Each year, millions of patients are unable to live independently following surgery but instead require care in a long-term skilled nursing facility. In a study published online on June 28 in Annals of Surgery, researchers led by Matthias Eikermann, M.D., and colleagues from the Health Outcomes and Perioperative Equity group assessed the post-surgical status of more than 350,000 patients.
Black patients who underwent surgery were 42% more likely to be discharged to a skilled nursing facility or nursing home after surgery compared with their white counterparts. Even though the Black patients were younger, their higher incidence of pre-existing comorbidities—uncontrolled diabetes and hypertension in particular—appeared to be a key reason for their significantly higher rate of nursing-facility admissions. The authors conclude that, to obtain better outcomes and reduce healthcare inequities related to race, more resources should be invested in the preoperative treatment of severe diabetes and hypertension in vulnerable patients of color.
Dr. Eikermann is professor and chair of anesthesiology at Einstein and Montefiore.
Posted on: Friday, July 15, 2022